New directors add heft as Economical prepares for demutualization

David Wilson & Richard Freeborough join Economical's board of directors

WATERLOO, ON, Feb. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - The Economical Insurance Group, one of Canada's largest property and casualty insurers, today announced that David Wilson, the past chair of the Ontario Securities Commission, and Richard Freeborough, chair of the International Order of Foresters and the board of governors of the University of Guelph, have joined Economical's board of directors.

"David and Richard are valuable additions to the board of The Economical Insurance Group as we prepare to be the first Canadian property and casualty insurance company to demutualize," said Chairman Gerry Hooper.

Mr. Wilson, chair of the Ontario Securities Commission from 2005 to 2010, brings to Economical a wealth of capital markets experience after a 35-year career in Canada's securities industry. As vice chair of Scotiabank and chair and CEO of Scotia Capital, he was responsible for Scotiabank's global wholesale activities, including its corporate, institutional and government relationships on a global basis. Economical will draw on his depth and expertise through membership on the board's Investment and Risk Review Committees, as well as the Special Committee responsible for guiding the demutualization process.

Mr. Freeborough brings more than a decade of board leadership since retiring as deputy chair of KPMG LLP in 1999, after 39 years of financial services practice.  Economical will leverage his experience through membership on Economical's Audit and Corporate Governance and Conduct Review Committees.

"In the coming months we hope to receive the regulatory framework for demutualization from the Department of Finance," added Mr. Hooper. "Upon demutualizing, we will have access to capital to grow and make strategic investments in tools and processes that will improve our productivity and the level of support we provide our broker partners who help generate our business."

About Economical
Founded in 1871, The Economical Insurance Group is one of Canada's leading property and casualty insurers, with $1.7 billion in premiums and $4.6 billion in assets. Based in Waterloo, this Canadian-owned and operated group services the insurance needs of more than one million customers through 19 branches and service offices across the country. In 2010, Economical announced its decision to become the first federally-regulated mutual property and casualty insurance company to demutualize. Economical is currently reviewing strategic options and will submit a comprehensive demutualization strategy for mutual policyholder approval after the federal government's completion of regulatory development.

The Economical Insurance Group's member companies include: Economical Mutual Insurance Company® (including Western General® Farm Division), Waterloo Insurance Company®, Perth Insurance Company®, The Missisquoi Insurance Company®, Federation Insurance Company of Canada™, Family Insurance Solutions and The Mattei Companies.

Note to editors, news directors: High-resolution images of Messrs. Freeborough and Wilson are available from CNW (www.newswire.ca)

Image with caption: "W. David Wilson, B. Comm., MBA, joins the board of directors of The Economical Insurance Group. (CNW Group/Economical Insurance Group)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120207_C2146_PHOTO_EN_9771.jpg

Image with caption: "Richard M. (Dick) Freeborough, FCA, ICD.D, joins the board of directors of The Economical Insurance Group. (CNW Group/Economical Insurance Group)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120207_C2146_PHOTO_EN_9773.jpg

SOURCE Economical Insurance Group

For further information:

Doug Maybee
The Economical Insurance Group
(T) 519.570.8500 ext. 48249
(C) 519.404.0989
doug.maybee@teig.com

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Economical Insurance Group

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